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Chris Bright teaches teenagers the ropes of video production

By Staff | Jul 5, 2017


For the past four years, Chris Bright, BIG ARTS’ operations and technical director, has taught teenagers the ins and outs of video editing. Bright attended Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois which was where he took up an interest in directing and screenwriting.

Eventually, Bright transferred from Bradley University to St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa where he obtained a communications degree with a minor in theatre and film.

Bright has lived in Southwest Florida since 2005. Six years ago, he began working at BIG ARTS.

“It was awhile that I did anything in live performance or live theater so I thought it would be a fun opportunity to come and give that a try,” Bright said. “My first season here, I was just running the tech over here at our Dunlop campus. So running all the lights and sounds and staging everything, mostly in Schein Hall but also in Phillips Gallery. Then I was recruited over to the Strauss Theater to run their sound design program. Part of my background is in sound design and sound application. As of last year, I was asked to be the operations director for the organization,” Bright said.

As operations director, Bright oversees the entire organization from an operational aspect, he also maintains their tech and IT department as well.

Students learn the basics of video production during BIG ARTS’ summer camp. PHOTO PROVIDED

Over the last four years, kids have had the opportunity to make music videos, claymation, animation and documentaries.

This year however, Bright is doing things a little differently.

“The one thing we’ve never had kids do is a finished film – from beginning to end,” Bright said.

So that the students have enough time to work on the film, Bright is extending his typical one week summer camp to two weeks. During the class, students can expect to learn how to fly a drone and use a steady cam. They will also put their acting skills to work while directing the film.

“They will both be behind the camera and in front of the camera,” Bright said.

After production is wrapped up, Bright, who also owns his own production company, will edit each film at his studio. For those who want to learn how to edit their own film, Bright said that he can make special arrangements for that.

“The plan right now is that once the film is done, it will take a few weeks after the camp (is completed) in order to edit (the film) and do all the special effects and that sort of thing. Once that is done, it will show in Schein Hall then we’ll also be submitting the films to a variety of film festivals, mostly local to Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach and Naples. We also might try to get the films into Sunshine Film Festival in Tampa,” Bright said.

Each video will be about 5 to 10 minutes long. Unlike prior years, students will have the opportunity to shoot around different locations on Sanibel and Captiva.

“This will be a nice way for those who have taken the class before to learn some new stuff,” Bright said. “One of the nice things too is that some people that I work with for my company and some friends who work professionally in film production they are going to be coming down and helping for a few days,” Bright said. “(The students) are going to get an interesting knowledge base throughout the two weeks.”

The summer camp which runs from July 17-28 will last from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday. The cost is $100 per week. Students will also have the option to stay later and help out with the younger kids to earn community service hours.

To register for the camp, call (239) 395-0900.